On the eve of 100 days to go, the flame for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 has been lit. It was ignited at the historic birthplace of the Olympic Games in Ancient Olympia in Greece. The Olympic flame, embodying peace and hope, will now journey across Greece before coming to France. After arriving in Marseille on 8 May, it will travel across the entire country, and some French overseas territories, arriving at the Opening Ceremony in Paris on 26 July

Amongst the dignitaries attending this historic event today were International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, President of the Hellenic Republic, Her Excellency Katerina Sakellaropoulou, the Vice President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, Paris 2024 Organising Committee President, Tony Estanguet, President of the French National Olympic Committee and IOC Member, David Lappartient, the IOC Members in France, Guy Drut and Jean-Christophe Rolland, the French Minister of Sports and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, the Chair of the IOC’s Paris 2024 Coordination Commission, Pierre-Olivier Beckers Vieujant and the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.

In his speech, in front of thousands of people, President Bach highlighted Paris 2024’s dedication to upholding the Olympic values and fostering global unity. He said: “The Olympic Games are the only event that brings the entire world together in peaceful competition. The Olympic athletes send this powerful message: yes, it is possible to compete fiercely against each other and at the same time live peacefully together under one roof. The athletes will shine and show us what greatness humans are capable of with all their excellence, determination and resilience.”

He continued: “This power of sport will make the Olympic Games Paris 2024 a great symbol of human excellence and unity of all humankind in all our diversity. These expectations are shared by billions of people around the world. In these difficult times we are living through, with wars and conflicts on the rise, people are fed up with all the hate, the aggression and negative news they are facing day in and day out. In their hearts – in all our hearts – we are longing for something which brings us together. We are longing for something that is unifying. We are longing for something that gives us hope.”

President Bach also spoke of the unified commitment to the success of Paris 2024, praising the innovative spirit of the Organising Committee, expressing confidence in France’s preparations and acknowledging the growing anticipation ahead of this summer’s Games.

He said: “This Olympic flame will carry this Olympic spirit from here, our ancient roots, through all of France and finally to Paris – making the City of Light shine even brighter. The Olympic flame will shine over the first Olympic Games inspired by our Olympic Agenda reforms from start to finish. These Olympic Games will be younger, more inclusive, more urban, more sustainable. These will be the very first Olympic Games with full gender parity, because the IOC allocated exactly 50 per cent of the places to female and male athletes.”

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